Who do you paint for?

Just had a phone call from the owner of one of my galleries. The conversation ran like this. “I had a woman come in who was very interested in one of your pieces but your painting was too small and she needs to coordinate it with a brocade fabric she brought in. Can you do another painting similar to that and put those colors in?”

Ahh… The ultimate dilemma. Who do you paint for? Do you paint to please your dealer, the customer, or for yourself? How badly do you want to sell? All these thoughts run through you head. “She stayed for an hour deliberating and discussing. No she did not leave her name, nor the swatch but said she would come to our upcoming show.” More pressure… So what to do? A sale would certainly be welcomed but with just a few extra clues such as streaks of copper with teal in it, streaks of silver with interference blue, circles and shapes like cave paintings, this is a monumental psychic request. Two options present themselves: one, forget it and move on or decide to look at this as a challenge. With absolutely no certainty of a sale but going strictly on my love of this technique I’m up to completing this demand.

Not being consumed with the outcome of a painting allows us great freedom. I will allow the painting itself to dictate to me what it needs but since these are colors that please me as well, I will incorporate them. My dealer has been encouraging me to push my paintings in this direction but it is a divergence from my latest modern cave painting work. I have decided to fuse this technique with my petroglyph symbols. Here is a picture of the original painting called “Canyon Majesty III” as published in Rethinking Acrylics by Patti Brady.

Follow along as I progress through the various stages of fusing two different styles and attempting to meet an obscure demand. Who knows, serendipity may be at work here. So, who do you paint for?

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